We first saw the 360fly and then caught wind of Bell’s intention to fully integrate the 360° panoramic camera into its helmets this past fall, but now we’ve already seen the partnership producing results. Bell today released a bunch of shots of their first smart helmet/cam integration at CES in Vegas with their forthcoming Bell Super 24 360fly helmet. Availability is still a while off, but we have some more real details, plus three other helmets that will get 360fly integration for other disciplines after the jump…
The Bell Super 2R with 360fly offers 360° video capture in 4K for capturing fully immersive video for a virtual reality experience, but can also capture conventional 16×9 video for regular playback. It includes mobile phone controlled editing and sharing and an intuitive interface. Adding the camera takes one of the most versatile DH, AM, and Enduro capable helmets with its convertible form factor and makes it even more appealing. The 360fly camera’s form even got a major overhaul to integrate it low and smoothly into the helmets profile, while maximizing its visible field of view and not affecting the ventilation of the helmet or its impact protection.
The Bell x 360fly helmet’s video capabilities are totally managed by 360fly’s proprietary mobile app, that leans towards a simple interface and easy Facebook and YouTube sharing. Video is shot at 2880 x 2880 and 30fps, and includes built-in GPS, a barometer/altimeter, and accelerometer to capture ride metrics as well. The integrated camera itself communicates with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and has a 2hr battery life. The camera also can be removed from the helmet, so presumably can be used across disciplines, and will even be able to be used with some secondary mounts for other video perspectives.
New forthcoming app functionality was also just previewed this week, including AutoPilot Action Tracking to follow the primary subject in a captured video for a better playback experience, Collision Avoidance Alert that can alert a rider of dangers outside of their field of view, and Live Streaming for advanced users. The live streaming also works with a aftermarket base that will allow real-time full 360° HD video output and powered operation. When the helmets do make it to market, the will also include a new Highlight Reel feature that auto-edits a 1 or 2 minute highlight video based on the most action-packed elements of the video, which if it works well may be the standout software feature of the camera itself.
With the new low-profile 360fly redesign Bell’s parent company BRG Sport introduced three other helmets that will integrate the camera as well for other sports than mountain biking. The Giro Edit with 360fly will let lovers of snow sports capture video on the slopes or off piste. And a Bell Star with 360fly full-face motorcycle helmet will even bring the integrated tech into the road motorsports markets, while a Bell Moto 9 Flex with 360fly will take it to the off-road motorcycle side of things.
Unfortunately it looks like retail availability for all of the new helmets with the integrated cameras is still not until Fall 2016, so we will have to wait to get our hands on them, and pricing has also not yet been defined. But as a marker of what is to come this is certainly interesting. The integrated camera has a much lower profile than the spherical 360fly that we first saw, and the thought of taking away the big chunky box on top of helmets certainly bodes well for both head safety and longevity. Now we just have to wait.